The ghost town of Garnet, Montana is relatively similar to those rustic images you see in the old western movies in that it is made up of the usual suspects of buildings from a saloon and hotel to a post office and general store. In fact the only difference you will find from those old western towns and Garnet is that it is full of ghostly residents that you normally cannot see with the human eye. However in some instances you just may see an old cowboy, gold miner, settler or working girl roaming one of the dusty roads in search of something that has been long gone for over a century. If you are just passing through the ghost town of Garnet, and you are in search of a real live spirit, on a good day you probably will capture a few highly spirited images in full form, and on a more laid back day you will more than likely catch a screen full of floating orbs.
This hidden treasure of the abandoned mining town of Garnet sits securely between the western Montana cities of Missoula and Helena, and by the year 1895 it was the hometown to approximately 1,000 gold miners, business owners, and their families. Life was on most days rough in Garnet. The men worked long hard days without the benefit of electricity, and with only steam engines and hand tools as their only means of separating the gold, copper and silver from the lucrative mines, which produced more than $690, 000 dollars in 1896, the men were purely worn out to the bone. Eventually the many deep rich veins of minerals was tapped out, but not before $950,000 had been produced between the years 1897 and 1917, of which 95% of the product was gold.
By 1912 the town of Garnet was quickly reduced to only 150 people after a fire destroyed most of the business section of the small western community. By 1947, the town with its 25 remaining businesses was considered abandoned by most people’s standards, but a few residents have refused to leave the only place that they have considered home all of their lives. The ghostly nature and feel of another era has remained with Garnet, and the ghost town is full of life as far as active spirits from a very different time are concerned. You can almost feel the energy that once kept the town alive with real working class citizens; it’s just that they no longer have much to say as death has prevented them from any lively conversation that may have otherwise taken place in different circumstances.
Summertime breathes life back into Garnet with tourists hoping to catch a glimpse of the past in the form of a ghostly image. They seldom walk away empty handed. Everyone from paranormal experts to amateur ghost hunters has caught live footage of orbs, and full bodied images of both male and female spirits. The jail is host to several playfully active orbs, and Frank Davey’s store seems to be the hot spot for seeing the deceased business owner himself. His ghostly image was caught on film in the cellar, and he looked none to happy to be caught working on an off day. This ghost simply refuses to rest, and he never fails to keep the musty damp cellar stocked with century old supplies.
Visitors are always delighted when they can actually lay claim to seeing a full fledged entity, and Nadine Akkerman is one of those lucky ghost hunters who captured her spirits on film in the fall of 2010. She reported that nothing out of the ordinary stood out when she viewed the old buildings personally. The truth presented itself much later when she went ahead and got her film developed. At first she thought that she was seeing things, but then she realized that she just couldn’t deny the misty figures with the haunting images that stared back at her and her husband through the power of photos as that of ghosts. Ectoplasm, also known as the formation of spirits is what Nadine likens the eerie images in the pictures to. It plain and simply shook her to her very core as she realized that Garnet was literally riddled with deceased folks from another time.
The Garnet Preservation Association and the Bureau of Land Management work feverishly at maintaining the old buildings in a steady effort to preserve and stabilize what is left of the ghost town. There are many stories that surround Frank Davey’s General Store. This is where the old timers sat around and chatted, and it was the main artery that supplied Garnet with goods that ranged from shoes and nails to food and fabric. The town all but died with Frank Davey when he passed on in 1947, and has since become a popular attraction to everyone from ghost hunters and historians to fans of the old Wild West.
Garney Day Festival
The town of Garnet, Montana offers visitors and locals a Garney Day Festival every year at the end of June with everything from guided tours to stories and educational activities for children and adults interested in everything from ghosts to history. The event covers a wide range of activities from live entertainment and a concert to picnicking and games.
Directions to Garnet, Montana Ghost Town: From Montana Highway 200, turn south on the Garnet Range Road between mile markers 22 and 23. Follow the gravel road 11 miles to Garnet.
Visitor Center Hours and Fees: Summer: Daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. $3.00 per person
For more detailed information: firstname.lastname@example.orgPhone: 406-329-3914